Ask any past or present Home and Away star what it’s really like to call our most famous seaside townhome on TV and the answer is likely to be a positive one. Certainly, for veteran actor Rick Donald, who moves to Summer Bay this week as Kieran, Martha’s long-lost and profoundly troubled son, it’s really a gig he’s enjoying.
The talented actor, also a busy writer-director, has previously starred in Home and Away and everything from Wentworth to 800 Words, House Husbands, and A Place to Call Home, and admits he was “instantly keen” when the producers gave him the lowdown on the significant new role.
“There are many layers to Kieran’s character,” Rick reflects. “He isn’t just a bad child. He’s dealing with some mental health problems and he has some struggles with addiction. Often, he’s just a human being with faults and a bit of a dreadful history.
“He’s trying to turn it all around, so the fact that there’s a truly three-dimensional character in Kieran was pretty exciting for me.
And then,” he continues with a grin, “there was also the fact that I was going to be part of the Stewart family, which meant working with Ray Meagher (Alf), Georgie Parker (Roo), and Belinda Giblin (Martha) as well. I was also very happy about that! ”
Safe to say, there will be drama galore ahead for the entire Stewart clan.
“I knew that Kieran would come in and be a little bit of a tornado in the Stewart household,” Rick says. “He turns up when he has been told not to, and he’s very keen on putting things right with his mother.”
Long-time viewers meanwhile can remember that this is not the first stint of Rick in the Bay.
I played a small role on the show [almost] 10 years ago-a a different character named Dean, who was also a bit of a bad boy says, Rick.” I was straight out of drama school at the time and it was one of my first gigs.
I’m now living in Palm Beach, where they film the show, so it was pretty awesome to be able to literally walk to work, particularly through all of this coronavirus madness.”
Away from the cameras, Rick shares his world with his four-year-old actor-director wife, Catherine Mack-Hancock, who also appeared in Natalie Davison’s Logie-nominated role especially in Home and Away.
The show is an excellent place to learn the craft for a lot of actors, and then it’s also a perfect place for actors to come in, like I am with Kieran’s character, and to really stir things up,” Rick says.”